Marketing is a disciplined approach to corporate communications that increases your organization’s bottom line, expands the scope of your influence, and broadens your impact.
Well, because successful marketing is a discipline. It’s work… work that pays off when done well.
Education marketing that fills recruitment pipelines and builds donor pyramids requires specialized skills and knowledge. But the one thing that ties it all together for you and your team is your education marketing plan.
Last week, I showed you the first five must-have components of a successful education marketing plan. Today, let’s dive into the final five.
6. Competition (Price) Research
The sixth component of a successful education marketing plan is that it documents the advantages and offers of other schools like yours. Limit your research to the top 3 or 4 competitors who’re reaching out to the same target audiences you are or who have similar distinctives.
Key Questions to Ask
- How much do my competitors charge?
- What do they do better than we do?
- What do we do better than they do?
7. Content Strategy
In today’s world, content is king. With more ways to consume information, and more devices to access content, prospective students and their families look for corporate brands (like your college, university, or school) to produce informative and entertaining content as if they were media companies.
Thankfully, content marketing isn’t new. Major brands like John Deere have built their empires on it. And now that methods and equipment for media creation have become more cost-effective, even schools on tight budgets can create and distribute irresistible content for their target audiences.
Key Questions to Ask
- What content channels (blogs, videos, infographics, print, etc.) are we best equipped to create?
- What content channels are most effective to reach our target audiences?
- What content channels fit within our budgetary restrictions?
- What content channels can we best measure to know our return on investment?
- What are the questions our audiences are asking?
- What content could we create to answer their questions?
8. Distribution Plan
If content is your “product,” then you need a way to get it to your “customers.” You need a distribution section for your education marketing plan.
Here is where you line up the various platforms that you’ll use to announce your newly published content. By using well-written headers, banners, images, popups, social media posts, and more, you will be able to drive traffic to your content.
In this section, you’ll write out the various requirements you have for those managing each platform. For example, if you’re posting to Instagram, you may specify that every post must have stunning imagery, or hashtags, or other specifications to assure the successful use of your distribution channels.
Probably the most important reason to include this section in your plan is that it will focus your messaging in places where your audience hangs out. By creating a distribution plan, you’ll avoid wasting your efforts, resources, and time on distributing content on platforms that fail to catch your audience’s attention.
9. Editorial Calendar
Please, please, please… don’t forget your editorial calendar! Your editorial calendar is where the rubber meets the road.
Your calendar tells you and your team what content will be created, for whom, and by when.
The editorial calendar is your accountability tool that keeps content production up to speed and running like a factory. Without it, you’ll get slowed down or lost in the process.
10. Marketing Budget
At last, we come to the end of our list. But although it’s last on my list today, a successful education marketing plan will be written with the budget in mind from start to finish.
However, it’s a good idea to include the marketing budget within your plan for quick reference. You’ll also want to have it there to see how well you stayed on budget. This information will prove helpful when you rework your marketing plan in the future.
Besides serving as a quick reference to your larger marketing budget, the budget you put into your marketing plan should also connect each activity within your plan to the more general numbers of your departmental budget.
Most marketing budgets are rather high-level. So for your education marketing plan, you’ll want to take the broader categories of your marketing budget and drill down to tactical levels like…
- How much will you spend on social media and search engine ads?
- How much will you spend on search engine marketing?
- How much will you spend for content creators such as writers, designers, and web developers?
- How much will you spend on outside consulting and marketing services?
- How much will you spend on digital marketing automation and metrics software?
- How much will you allocate between print and digital resources?
Education Marketing Plan Service
At Caylor Solutions, we absolutely love helping schools like yours identify their greatest areas of opportunity and plan for marketing success. We’re here to help you take the mystery out of successful education marketing!
Get ahold of us today. The call is free, and there’s no obligation.
Market More. Spend Less.
Set yourself free from your shrinking marketing budget with my popular ebook Marketing on a Shoestring Budget! This ebook is jammed with practical ways to produce high-quality marketing on the cheap.
Inside, I’ll show you proven marketing tactics like…
- How to leverage low-cost technologies to reach your target market,
- How to craft a content marketing strategy on a bare-bones budget,
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Featured image by AVAVA via Adobe Stock